The weather here in Utah is foggy and smoggy. The beautiful mountains are hidden in what we call “the inversion layer” of dirty air. The morning fog freezes on all the trees and everything is white. It looks like snow, but without the snow. Yesterday I was walking on campus (University of Utah, where I work) and saw that someone had scrawled a message in the frozen fog that covered a bench. My first reaction was, “Don’t read it! It will be crude or gross! Someone’s mad and they are using the weather to write their thoughts of protest and anger.” I got brave and took a hesitant glance at the bench. It said “Good Morning!” And it had happy face! What a nice surprise. Uplifting and inspiring. I laughed out loud and received the message loud and clear: Life is good and let’s enjoy it. I had a good morning, and a great day.Thanks!
I was planning a class about resilience and emotional intelligence last week when I ran across a quote online: Be interested, not interesting. Apparently, it’s a Dale Carnegie quote used in the customer service field. So all week long I have wanted to implement the quote, because I think it is natural for me to want to be interesting, so I forget to be interested. The truth is I really am interested in what people have to say, how things are going for them, and if I can help. So why do I not just shut up and listen? I think part of it is my personality – I like to be in the spotlight, I like to add to a discussion, I like to make people laugh. There’s nothing wrong with all that, but I can see that sometimes I just talk too much, trying to be interesting, which makes it hard for me to hear, truly hear, what others are saying. I need to slow down and just listen with interest and curiosity. I don’t have to solve things. I think I will make a poster with the quote and hang it around the house and around my office, to remind myself to listen and be interested. I also ran across another quote: To be interesting, be interested. So there it is – I can be interesting if I am interested. Sounds like a win-win.
I taught a mindfulness moment about curiosity last week. I could say a similar thing about curiosity: Be curious, not a curiosity! OK that’s not a perfect fit, but it sounds interesting!